No. There is no research that shows a child is unable to learn in a center environment. Think about it this way, with that logic, a child would be unable to learn at school, resulting in every child needing to be homeschooled!
ABA as a practice has continued to evolve and improve over time. In it’s earliest form, before insurance mandates existed allowing families to access services through medical insurance, therapy was often performed by parents instead of highly trained professionals. A majority of services also were also only performed in the home as the only option.
But as the field continues grow and evolve and more and more states pass insurance mandates, the center-based model has developed and become an option for families. The center-based model has many advantages to a home program, which includes a higher level of supervision oversight and training to BT’s implementing the programming designed by the BCBA, a safer environment for children with severe challenging behavior, access to peers to work on necessary play and social skills, and more contact and oversight by the child’s BCBA to monitor the child’s program and make frequent data-based decisions on programming to faster accelerate a child’s learning. This has been our experience as an organization as we started out only providing home services and quickly changed to a center model with home services available as needed.
In addition, as more and more centers appear, research is now beginning to appear to compare home vs. center model. Some research is actually showing kids are making better progress in a center model vs. home only model